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Asian FX muted on robust dollar, rupiah at 4-year low



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Indonesian rupiah hits lowest since April 2020

Philippine c.bank decision due next week

Philippine stocks hit six-month low

By Rajasik Mukherjee

June 21 (Reuters) -Asian currencies were subdued against the U.S. dollar on Friday, with the Indonesian rupiah touching a fresh four-year low, as the Federal Reserve's patient stance towards interest rates adds pressure as yield differentials widen.

The Indonesian rupiah IDR= slipped 0.3% to 16,475.00, the lowest since early April 2020, a day after Bank Indonesia (BI) kept its interest rate unchanged but said it will fine-tune other tools to stabilise the weakening currency.

The rupiah has lost more than 6% so far this year, and is among the worst performing currencies in the region.

"Looking ahead, BI will intervene actively in the FX market, optimise monetary instruments, and maintain strong yields to attract capital inflows," Karinska Priyatno, a fixed income analyst at Mirae Asset Securities wrote.

"With corporate USD demand peaking in the second quarter and subsiding in third quarter, rupiah pressure is expected to ease in the near future."

Meanwhile, most other Asian currencies have declined sharply so far this year. The Philippine peso PHP=, Thai baht, and Taiwan dollar TWD=TP have each lost more than 5%, while the Malaysian ringgit MYR= and Singapore dollar SGD= are down over 2%.

"Widening yield differentials between U.S. and Asia is one of the major drivers for Asian FX volatility and weakness. If this persists, we may continue to see further weakness for most Asian FX," Christopher Wong, an FX strategist at OCBC, said.

In the Philippines, the peso appreciated slightly on Friday while equities .PSI declined 1.6% - the lowest since mid-December - ahead of the central bank's monetary policy meeting next week.

"Dovish BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) guidance and divergence with U.S. and some of the monetary policies in the region makes PHP more vulnerable among Asian currencies excluding Japan," Wong said.

"For the next meeting, our house view still looks for BSP to stay on hold."

Elsewhere in the region, the South Korean won KRW=KFTC was down 0.3% while equities in Seoul .KS11 lost 0.8%, breaking a three-day rally. .KS

South Korea's foreign exchange authorities said they agreed with the National Pension Service to expand a currency swap line to $50 billion from the current $35 billion to defend the tumbling won against the dollar.

The won has fallen more than 7% against the dollar so far this year.

Shares in Taipei .TWII lost 0.6% for the day, but were on track for their best week since early March. The Taiwan dollar TWD=TP was largely unchanged.


HIGHLIGHTS:

** Indonesian 10-year benchmark yields rise to 7.152%

** Thai PM says he expects to announce more stimulus measures early next week

** Japan's demand-led inflation slows, clouds BOJ rate hike path


Asia stock indexes and currencies at 0407 GMT




COUNTRY

FX RIC

FX DAILY %

FX YTD %

INDEX

STOCKS DAILY %

STOCKS YTD %

Japan

JPY=

+0.01

-11.22

.N225

-0.23%

+15.2

China

CNY=CFXS

-0.01

-2.25

.SSEC

-0.39

0.63

India

INR=IN

+0.08

-0.45

.NSEI

0.18

8.64

Indonesia

IDR=

-0.12

-6.38

.JKSE

1.66

-4.68

Malaysia

MYR=

-0.11

-2.61

.KLSE

0.12

9.63

Philippines

PHP=

+0.12

-5.82

.PSI

-1.43

-3.04

S.Korea

KRW=KFTC

-0.21

-7.17

.KS11

-0.79

4.90

Singapore

SGD=

+0.09

-2.51

.STI

0.25

2.09

Taiwan

TWD=TP

-0.04

-4.97

.TWII

-0.62

29.72

Thailand

THB=TH

+0.08

-6.91

.SETI

0.26

-8.06



Graphic: World FX rates https://tmsnrt.rs/2RBWI5E

Asian stock markets https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4


Reporting by Rajasik Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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